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NBA icon LeBron James makes pitch to Liverpool owners FSG over £2.3bn deal

Ryan Smart

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NBA icon LeBron James makes pitch to Liverpool owners FSG over £2.3bn deal

NBA legend LeBron James has previously pitched to form a new basketball franchise in Las Vegas - which could impact on FSG, the owners of Liverpool, of which James is a minority partner.

FSG chairman, Tom Werner, confirmed last week that the Reds owners were 'exploring' a sale of the club, although stated that the process would not necessarily end with FSG relinquishing control of the club.

That came after the ownership released a statement (via The Athletic's David Ornstein), saying that they 'would consider new shareholders' into Liverpool.

Since then, a number of wealthy business owners and investors have been linked with making a bid for full or partial control of the club.

But sales of football clubs tend to take substantial amounts of time, and it may well be that FSG will take longer to search for the best price, if they do decide to sell all or part of their stake.

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Reports from the United States last month, meanwhile, could affect their future plans.

LeBron James wants to set up NBA franchise

James, who is one of the greatest NBA players of all-time, has signalled his desire to start a new NBA franchise in Las Vegas once he retires from professional basketball.

The Liverpool Echo claim that any new franchise is likely to cost potential buyers around £2.3 billion.

Speaking at a press conference in Vegas last week, the 37-year-old said (quotes via Liverpool Echo): "I would love to bring a team here at some point. That would be amazing.

"I know Adam [Silver, NBA commissioner] is in Abu Dhabi right now, I believe. But he probably sees every single interview and transcript that comes through from NBA players.

"So, I want the team here, Adam. Thank you."

In terms of Liverpool, the reason why James' comments are significant is because he is a part-owner of the Reds.

He acquired a minority stake in the club in 2011, as part of a sponsorship deal between his sports marketing firm, LRMR Branding & Marketing Group, and FSG.

He converted that into a one per cent stake in FSG last year, and he is a minority partner in the group that owns Liverpool.

James and FSG are reportedly keen on acquiring an NBA franchise - and the purchase of an expansion franchise in Vegas may be an ideal option.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Liverpool, NBA, Lebron James, Premier League

Ryan Smart
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